Taking a break from his work on Star Citizen, 57-year-old actor Gary Oldman sat down with Vulture to discuss the highly anticipated video game, its companion single-player spaceflight sim, Squadron 42, and crowdfunding.
When Star Citizen surfaced in 2012, it immediately hit the spotlight and became one of the most popular crowdfunding campaigns on the web. The project has been dubbed the largest crowdfunded game and largest amount raised for any sort of crowdfunded project.
The Robocop star is set to play Admiral Bishop in Squadron 42. During his interview, Oldman shared details about what it was like to play the character:
“I’ve done a few of games before, and did motion-capture performance with Bob Zemeckis on A Christmas Carol. It’s strange, because normally you have costumes and physical sets and props, and here the world is completely imagined and left solely up to the directors and the designers. It’s a great role to play, and the approach to it, in that sense, is just like any other role, but it’s also very odd, since there is absolutely nothing there. It’s all left up to the imagination. I worked with Chris Roberts, the director, who showed me visual material and talked through the geography of where I was and how I was interfacing with the things in the Senate and on the ship.”
Also discussing crowdfunding and how Star Citizen’s creator Christ Robert has used the funding method, Gary explained:
“Chris has been very clever in the way that he’s done it, because fans become a participant in the actual game. For a certain cost, I think you even have your own spaceship with your name on it, and you’re flying around in this universe that he’s created. It’s an ingenious way of going straight to the fans. This is exciting for these gamers and their involvement, and it’s a project that can raise that kind of money.
“Maybe this is the future of filmmaking. You do really cut out literally everyone and just go straight to the fans. It’s supply and demand. You go to the people and say, ‘Look, we have this idea. It’s going to cost so much. It’s about this and it’s about that.’ And they say, ‘Yeah, we would like to see that.’ I’m sure they’re going to find ways of controlling it and taxing it eventually. The government will get wise to something like this.”
In regards to working in the sci-fi video game and film genre, Oldman added:
“I suppose it still comes down to a good story, really. I’ve also dabbled in the world of vampires and the supernatural, but it just comes down to a good story, really, and good writing. I’m not particularly a big sci-fi buff, but I was attracted to it because of Chris’s résumé and the quality of the storytelling and worlds and where this can go. With The Space Between Us, it’s sci-fi that is very much the world we’re living in. It’s about a boy who is born on Mars, and we’re already talking about putting men and women into orbit around Mars by 2035, and by 2050 there will be some kind of colony on Mars. It’s as if we’re catching up with the future.”